The tenth release of a 'Kupe' Pinot Noir. Abel clone fruit from vines close-planted in 1999 from the 'Kupe' vineyard on Te Muna Road, indigenous yeast fermented with 70% whole bunch to 14.1% alc. in French wooden cuves, the wine spending 22 days on skins and aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barriques. Full, even, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. This has a fulsome and near robust nose with deeply packed and concentrated aromas of ripe dark-red berry fruit and savoury black cherries entwined with dark herb and black mineral notes. Complexing, piquant aromas of whole cluster stalk elements along with spices and cedar, and nutty oak emerge in the glass. The aromas are enriched by violet floral and visceral elements, and the whole cluster aromas intensify with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate possesses fulsome and powerfully deep flavours of rich, ripe, black berried fruits with black cherries, and layers of dark herbs, savoury whole bunch stalk notes, and a complexing amalgam of cedar, spices, balsam, blood and earth. This is great richness, balanced by considerable structure, the tannins fine and grainy. The mouthfeel has great energy and vitality, the acidity and alcohol providing drive and power, carrying the wine to a robust and vigorous, long finish. This is a powerfully structured and concentrated, complex, black-fruited Pinot Noir with layers of whole bunch, spice, earth and visceral complexities.
Escarpment's highly regarded flagship pinot noir from the favourable 2014 vintage is predictably good. An intense and complex wine, with dark and dried fruits interwoven with spices and flattered by chocolate-like oak. As good as the wine is now it promises to deliver much more in time. Super-serious Martinborough pinot.
I saw these grapes on the vine the night before harvest in 2014 and they were remarkable for their flavorsome depth and thick but supple skin texture. The wine carries the same qualities. It's deeply complex, indulging from the outset in graphite and black cherries on the nose, in fine combination with dark spices, rosehip, toasty oak and sweet, freshly dug earth. The palate rolls through like a perfectly formed wave, delivering an arc of dark-plum and cherry fruit, as the tannins curl and twist on the finish before releasing a fresh surge of tangy plum flavors. They hold long and bold, making for a highly impressive wine. There are several phases already, but this will really peak around 2021 and hold for several years after.
Deep and complex, with vanilla bean and roasted beet notes to the licorice-scented plum and wild blackberry flavors. Smoke, frankincense and sarsaparilla details mingle with cedar and black tea elements on the long, velvety, expressive finish. Drink now through 2026. 500 cases made.
Bright red with ruby tones. Alluring aromas of black raspberry, musky spices, dark chocolate, anise, peppery stems and resiny earth. Wonderfully silky and plush, offering insidious intensity to its flavors of raspberry, dusty herbs and saline minerality; really mounts toward the back end. The slowly building finish dusts the entire palate with very smooth tannins and leaves behind an impression of savory extract. The longest and thickest of the Pinots I tasted this year from Escarpment, but the wine's herbal, saline and spice elements keep it light on its feet.
Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2014 Kupe Pinot Noir offers subdued notes of cranberries, raspberry leaves, and Bing cherries with suggestions of underbrush and tobacco. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly fruited with a taut backbone of chewy tannins and great freshness, finishing long and pure.
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